In the lead up to our launch, we asked a few of our organisers what #WeHavePower means to them, and what motivated them to get involved. Check out their what they said.
Eden Iati | 21 | Bachelor of Arts (Politics) | University of Otago
I am involved with We Have Power because as the name states the power is with us as students, and as people. So much of the time we as individuals forget just how much power we hold. The power in one vote. Our vote. The power is in our hands but we often forget because of many different reasons, and we start to feel like our individual voices are insignificant; but they are not. Being involved with We Have Power means we get to connect and work together with other like-minded people who want to promote participation in democracy among youth and want to make positive changes in society. We Have Power enables and empowers young people at tertiary level to exercise their rights, and as a citizen of this country we should all have a desire to encourage democracy. So instead of asking why... why not?
Ultimately, young people are looking for relevance. They want politics to be relevant to them, they want to know why they should care; why it is important to their lives as individuals.
Elspeth Carroll | 20 | Bachelor of Business | AUT
Young people underestimate their influence. With 800,000 people between the age of 18-29 eligible to vote, we have the power to sway the election towards policies that we believe will better our country and livelihood.
As the Vice President of the AUT Student Movement (AuSM), I am involved with the 'We Have Power' election campaign to share the policies on the table for the 2017 election. It's my job to advocate the importance of voting and student matters.
I believe that students are looking for an innovative education system that sees a restructure in tertiary funding, lowering the cost of study from the current $15,000 per year, per student average in the OECD. I believe young people are also seeking a comprehensive strategy to support a sustainable environment - we'll be the ones living in it.
Young people do have power and need the hope that they can activate change.
Moana Potaka | Ngati Whakaue, Tapuika, Waitaha, Ngati Wai | 28 | Bachelor of Business Studies | Eastern Institute of Technology
Many of the barriers to education facing students like low income, poor housing, and lack of ability to travel to campus can be fixed by politicians. If politicians used their power to stand up for students, students would use their power to vote them into parliament. Our aim through EIT Students Association being involved in this campaign is to remind both students and politicians of how they can use their power to help those in study.
Emily Barker | 22 | Bachelor of Fine Arts / Bachelor of Arts | University of Canterbury
Recent events across the globe have shown the importance of a youth voice, and a youth vote. I am involved in the ‘We Have Power’ campaign because I think it is a responsibility for students to vote. At the end of the day, we will inherit the outcomes of this election.
Kealyn Marshall | Te Atihaunui a Paparangi, Ngā Rauru, Te Whanau a Apanui | 21 | Bachelor of Arts (Te Reo Māori, Māori Studies) / Bachelor of Teaching Primary & Secondary | Victoria University of Wellington
This will be my first time voting as I was overseas in the last election, but the reason why I've taken more interest around this year’s elections is following the impact that young voters had during the UK elections showing that a difference can actually be made. Also living in Wellington with Parliament on our back doorstep young people need to engage in the decisions that these people are making especially when they're down the road.